Review: Divided (Dualed #2) by Elsie Chapman
I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.
Divided by Elsie Chapman
Series: Dualed #2
Published by: Random House Childrens Books on 5/27/2014
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, YA
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
The hunter becomes the hunted. . . .
West Grayer is done killing. She defeated her Alternate, a twin raised by another family, and proved she’s worthy of a future. She’s ready to move on with her life.
The Board has other plans. They want her to kill one last time, and offer her a deal worth killing for. But when West recognizes her target as a ghost from her past, she realizes she’s in over her head. The Board is lying, and West will have to uncover the truth of the past to secure her future.
How far will the Board go to keep their secrets safe? And how far will West go to save those she loves? With nonstop action and surprising twists, Elsie Chapman’s intoxicating sequel to Dualed reveals everything.
Divided is the second novel in the Dualed series by Elise Chapman. The series takes place in the futuristic city of Kirsh, a section of the Pacific Northwest that has sequestered themselves from the rest of the world by building a wall around themselves. The story is full of action and suspense as West Grayner is forced, once again, to become a striker.
I came into this novel not having read the first in the series, Dualed. I would recommend reading Dualed before reading Divided, because I think it would help you attach to the characters more, but Divided did a good job of world building that I wasn’t too confused about what was going on. Survival is a huge part of what is important to the citizens of Kirsh. In order to continue to protect themselves from the world beyond the wall – the Surround – humans are genetically created to have an exact double, their Alt. Once your assignment goes active, it becomes your duty to find your Alt and do whatever it takes to kill them. Only one Alt will come out alive, and this Alt is the one who is strong enough to take up space in the eyes of Kirsh.
West has long since killed her Alt and proven herself worthy. She has also left the life of a striker behind her. Strikers have the illegal job of killing other people’s Alts. West turned to Striking in order to prepare herself to go up against her own Alt. Now that West has completed, she is done striking. That is until the Board, the government in Kirsh, offers her something she can’t turn down in return for killing three more Alts.
There were a lot of things I really enjoyed about Divided. I love any sort of dystopian society story, and while I wouldn’t say Divided is exactly dystopian, it is definitely a society with problems. Like having to kill your exact double, for example. I highly doubt I would survive in Kirsh, which makes me amazed that the whole society has built themselves around this ultimate test. It also puts a lot of emphasis on the influence that your environment can have on a person’s upbringing. Just because your Alt looks exactly like you, doesn’t mean that you are equals. The opportunity to have access to different training areas has a lot to do with how well a person can do against their Alt.
I also really enjoyed the characters. West isn’t a striker just because she wants to; she feels a lot of guilt over the lives she’s taken, so much so that she goes to therapy for it. It’s something that she felt she was forced to do because she didn’t have some of the opportunities that others have to train at fancy facilities. In addition to West being sort of a gray character, her boyfriend, Chord, makes it clear that he doesn’t condone her actions at all. Just because he loves her does not mean that he approves of the things that he has done and he doesn’t keep quiet about it, which I thought made their relationship seem very realistic.
The only thing that I didn’t like about the book is that it seemed really slow to me. I wouldn’t say it was a chore to read it necessarily, but I could only read it for so long at a time. I feel like the plot didn’t really pick up until at least halfway through the book and the ending felt a little rushed, although it did leave it wide open for a third book.
Overall, I’m giving Divided 4 out of 5 controllers. It was a really interesting concept, fascinating society, great story, but it did take me a while to really get into it.